Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Easy Summer Entertaining

Okay, it's time for more of House Beautiful's LAST WORDS

Just a few tips for some fun summer entertaining...

"Instead of place cards, I might buy a stack of Lotto tickets and put one at every place with people's names on them in magic marker.  I'll often tie the napkins with long, skinny licorice.  Dinner is a single dish -- maybe a fabulous paella -- with the simplest green salad.  For dessert, I bring out a platter of ice cream sandwiches, and everyone is so happy!" - PENNY DRUE BAIRD

"I recently did a Mediterranean buffet for a party.  I toasted my own pita chips with olive oil, cumin, and fennel seeds.  Then I brought my bowl over to a restaurant around the block and they filled it for me with their wonderful hummus.  Add a bowl of pistachio nuts, another bowl of olives, and you're done." -MARK EPSTEIN
"Have everything prepared before guests start to arrive.  Start with wonderful salted nuts and plenty of chilled Prosecco.  Often I'll do a Salade Nicoise.  For dessert there's nothing better than fresh summer berries with triple cream poured over them.  You can put this menu together in about an hour." -THOMAS BURAK

"Think volume.  In summer, I usually take my long fancy dining table, push it against the wall, and stack up all my vintage plates, bamboo silverware, and cotton napkins by the forty.  I make tons of food and serve it up in black iron skillets.  People feel like they can come back for seconds or bring their friends.  I even love it when they bring their wet dogs." -STEVEN GAMBREL

"I like room-temperature food arranged on long skinny platters.  Striped dish towels make great napkins -- and if they're pique or waffle-weave, you don't have to iron them.  we also have two white enamel drink dispensers with spouts.  I fill them with water, lemons, limes, and oranges and keep them outside with glasses next to them -- one by the pool and one in the courtyard."

"For killer ambience, head to the nursery and buy out the potted hydrangeas -- or whatever the flowering plant special of the week is.  Set the plastic pots in cheap clay ones, and you're done.  Put them everywhere - on the dining table, on your patio steps, on a landing and around the pool."-ELAINE GRIFFIN

Have a great weekend! :)